Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving

Marian University
Indiana, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Feb 08, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Marian University has an immediate opening for a motivated, thoughtful, detail-oriented, and outgoing professional to serve as its Senior Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving—a new role in the Office of Institutional Advancement to provide senior leadership in service to Marian University’s alumni, families, and friends. The successful candidate will report to the Vice President – Office of Institutional Advancement and will promote Marian University’s Catholic mission and identity by playing a key role as one of the faces of Marian University with its alumni and in annual giving efforts through a multi-channel approach including direct mail, digital marketing, personal outreach, peer-to-peer solicitation, and social media.


The ideal candidate for this role must be a proactive, creative, and tenacious problem-solver; unfailingly positive, engaging, and gracious; a careful listener with high emotional intelligence; professional, poised, and polished; an exceptional communicator and brand ambassador. Success is defined by providing and facilitating programming, communications, and relationship building opportunities to significantly broaden stakeholder engagement and increase philanthropic support by the 18,000+ (and growing!) alumni of Marian University.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Actively engage the Catholic Franciscan mission and identity of Marian University by modeling the Franciscan Sponsorship Values, honoring the legacy of the founding congregation, promoting unity in diversity, and integrating the Catholic Franciscan intellectual traditions in courses, programs, and services.
  • Alumni Leadership
    • Serve as the staff liaison to the Marian University Alumni Association (MUAA) and Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Committee; participate as an ex-officio member of the Alumni Engagement Sub-Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Recruit, retain, and develop volunteers to support the efforts of the alumni and advancement programs.
  • Manage the administrative requirements related to the management of the MUAA:
    • Arranging meetings, staffing committees, maintaining records, and ensuring strong and productive relationships between its members and the academic and administrative leadership.
  • Execute plans for reaching goals in the “Six Ts” of alumni engagement developed by a task force and supported by the Board of Trustees in the summer of 2020. Increase the number of engaged Marian alumni as defined by the “Six Ts”:
    1. Time (attend events on/off campus)
    2. Talent (volunteer/provide expertise)
    3. Treasure (charitable giving)
    4. Trust (engage in our online alumni platform)
    5. Testimony (“drive with pride” with a Marian license plate)
    6. Ties (connect alumni networks to drive enrollment efforts)
  • Partner with colleagues to execute an annual plan for alumni and annual giving events. Events include:
  • Homecoming
  • Donor recognition/appreciation
  • Class reunions and/or affinity group celebrations (athletes/teams, San Damiano, 21st Century Scholars, college-specific graduates, etc.)
  • Tailgates
  • M-Club (athletic booster)
  • Wall of Fame
  • Signature events (Gala, Clayton, President’s Appreciation Dinner)
  • Increase the number of engaged Marian alumni as defined by the “Six Ts.”
  • Work with campus partners to educate and engage students in philanthropy in an effort to keep them engaged as young alumni.
  • Work closely with colleagues to produce all marketing collateral for alumni in alignment with an annual communications plan.
  • Ensure a strong website and social media presence for alumni.


  • Fundraising/Annual Giving
    • Promotes the vision and mission of a great, catholic, liberal arts university through the development and leadership of unified, organized outreach and solicitation aimed at energizing philanthropic participation among alumni, families, and friends of the university.
    • Plays a pivotal role in accelerating growth in annual giving and expanding the base of donors.
    • In collaboration with Development Officers, purposefully seeks to transition high-level annual giving donors ($1,000-$5,000 annually) to their first major gift (defined as $25,000 over up to five years).
    • Serves as an ambassador connecting with alumni and providing them with opportunities to become/remain engaged in the life of Marian University and see their philanthropic support making a difference.
    • Serves as the staff liaison to the Women of Marian Society, a women’s giving circle established in 2020.
    • Serves as a member of the volunteer committee charged with fundraising support for the Forging Leaders Initiative; support assigned volunteers in their efforts to cultivate and solicit gifts on Marian’s behalf.


  • Leadership
    • Empowers, motivates, and leads a team of two professionals: the Director of Annual Giving; and the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving. Oversees student interns.
    • Collaborates with the Vice President and Executive Director in the Office of Institutional Advancement to further develop and implement best practices and strategy for digital marketing, direct mail, peer-to-peer fundraising, engagement and fundraising success.
    • Plans and manages the alumni budget.
    • Excels at both working independently and thriving as part of a collaborative team.
  • Participates in or leads special projects, as assigned.


  • Reporting/Accountability
    • Meets or exceeds annual goals related to the “Six Ts” of alumni engagement.
    • Provides monthly reports on progress to goals for donor retention, faculty/staff giving, alumni participation, etc. in a timely manner.
    • Possesses strong organizational skills, the ability to juggle multiple projects and priorities, and the ability to develop relationships with people of all backgrounds and experiences.
    • Recruits, trains, and supports volunteers in their involvement with committees, task forces, and fundraising endeavors.
    • Adheres to established budget and expenditure guidelines.
    • Participates in advancement events by securing sponsors, promoting attendance, and providing strategic direction in the planning process. Advancement events include a gala in the fall, athletic awards dinner in the spring, various appreciation/recognition events, golf outing, etc.
    • Attends various on and off-campus events as a representative of Marian University.
    • Executes all activity in a manner that is consistent with the strategic plan of the university and the Office of Institutional Advancement.


To be successful in this role the ideal candidate must have:

  • A bachelor's degree from a four-year college or university.
  • Strong writing ability and a background in digital marketing.
  • A track record of successful management of multi-channel marketing.
  • At least seven years of progressive experience in development, higher education, fundraising, nonprofit, or a related field; at least three years of experience supervising a team.
  • The ability to effectively present (written and verbal correspondence) information and respond to questions from internal and external constituents.
  • The ability to write, analyze, and interpret giving information, financial reports, and legal documents and utilize this information in planning processes.
  • The ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Must be able to incorporate these conclusions/findings into strategic and tactical plans.
  • An understanding that occasional events and activities occur outside of work hours—including some nights and weekends—and are necessary to perform the duties of this job satisfactorily.
  • Be willing to conform to shifting priorities, demands, and timelines through analysis and problem-solving skills.
  • Effectively prioritize and execute tasks in a high pressure environment.
  • Be highly detail oriented and have an effective skillset in Microsoft Office programs.
  • Exhibit professionalism and high ethical standards for maintaining confidential information.
  • Must be able to have and maintain a valid Indiana driver's license without restrictions.
  • Must have strong computer skills and outstanding communication—both oral and written—and outstanding interpersonal skills. Must be well-organized, self-started, a collaborative planner, and work with members of the Institutional Advancement team individually and in groups.


Candidates with preferred qualifications will be given priority; these include:

  • Graduate of Marian University.
  • Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
  • Raiser’s Edge database experience.


Founded in 1937 by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana, Marian University is the only Catholic university in Indianapolis and central Indiana. In 2019, Marian is serving more than 2,400 undergraduate and 1,160 graduate students earning degrees in the arts, business, education, engineering, math, medicine, nursing, ministry, and the natural and physical sciences. The university’s high-impact, experiential curriculum is designed to provide hands-on, collaborative learning opportunities for students from 45 states and 23 nations. Marian climbed in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Midwest rankings, being named the #3 Most Innovative Regional University, #5 Best Value University, and #28 Best Regional University. Marian University opened its College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013, making it the first new school of medicine in the state of Indiana in 110 years. Marian’s national champion varsity athletic programs include the 2012 and 2015 NAIA Football National Championship, the 2016 and 2017 NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship, 2019 NAIA Volleyball National Championship, and more than 40 USA Cycling national championships.


Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applications require a cover letter, a current CV, and contact information for three professional references.


Apply Online Here:

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